How to Protect Your Firmware/BIOS from Attacks

These days, business owners need not be told twice about securing their computer systems from malware, viruses, ransomware, and a hundred other threats. They might have installed anti-virus softwares, and take precautions against downloading or installing an application from unknown sources.

However, very few business owners and their security teams spare a thought for protecting their firmware, especially the Basic Input Output System (BIOS). Along with the fact that firmware attacks can bypass the standard anti-virus applications, this inattentiveness is the main reason attackers have found it easy to target firmware as a low-hanging fruit.

In fact, according to Gartner, 70% of the organizations that do not have plans for a firmware upgrade will be breached by 2022 on account of firware vulnerabilities.

Before diving into the ways to protect it, let us see why it is so important to ensure firmware security.  Firmware resides in a non-volatile memory, and a simple removal of hard drive cannot erase it. Moreover, once malware gains control of firmware, it will gain access to your entire system. It can even alter or bypass the other security mechanisms used by the operating system. These factors make it incredibly difficult for a system to recover from a firmware attack, and a large amount of confidential data about your organization can be compromised.
So, how can you protect your firmware?

Beware of untrustworthy USBs

We all know the dangers of unknown USBs, but in the light of all the advanced attacks, we tend to overlook them. However, an attacker easily use malware like BadUSB to work its way to your firmware with the help of USB devices. Therefore, while it is advisable to altogether avoid the use of USBs, make sure that you use only the one that exclusively belongs to you if you need it.

Regularly update your firmware

Yes, we all hate updates, but many manufacturers include upgraded security features based on threats that have been recently discovered. Therefore, make sure your firmware is updated to cover every possible threat, old or new.

Get devices that provide built-in firmware protection

Many technology vendors and companies are including firmware security provisions in the computing devices to battle the increasing threat. HP, for example, is protecting many of their PCs and laptops with HP Sure Start. It is a hardware-enforced and self-healing protection that not only makes sure that only Genuine HP BIOS is booted by the system, but also automatically detects and recovers from any attack on the BIOS.

Among the many devices equipped with this protection is the HP Z2 Mini, the world’s most powerful mini workstation. With power-packed performance encased in a compact design, it is the perfect system of choice for the modern workplace. Get in touch with us to purchase the HP Z2 Mini workstation in Bangalore.

About IBS –

Founded in 1979, IBS launched its managed IT services in 1999 to be at par with the incoming demands from its customers. Today IBS serves clients across different domains of the industry such as-real estate, law, accounting, logistics, office & home furnishing etc. In 2014, IBS became an employee-controlled organization, acknowledging the commitment of our team members and strengthening their stake in the company’s success and future. Further, in 2015 IBS partnered with Acumatica, a leading provider of cloud-based enterprise resource planning software to take on the new challenges in the industry and as IBS moves ahead towards a bright future, it looks forward to continuing our long-term partnerships and fostering new relationships built on the integrity of our products, the intensity of our support and the quality of our team.

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